PierPass Posts “2.0” Update Results

One Third of Appointments Unused at LA/Long Beach Terminals Under Revised OffPeak Program

LONG BEACH, Calif., July 25, 2019—More than one third of available appointments for picking up or delivering cargo at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach go unused, leaving cargo owners with many available choices of appointment slots, according to terminal data newly compiled by PierPass Inc.

The appointment systems are the core of the revised OffPeak program—informally called “PierPass 2.0” — for mitigating traffic congestion at the largest container port complex in the U.S. Second-quarter 2019 data from the 12 container terminals at the two adjacent ports shows that the appointment systems offer significant flexibility and availability for cargo owners. Terminals also report that they no longer have lines of trucks queuing outside their gates in late afternoons.

During weekday daytime shifts at the terminals, a weighted average from the 12 terminals shows that 64% of appointments were used, leaving 36% of available slots unused. The same data shows that utilization was lower during OffPeak shifts (weeknights or Saturday), when 55% of appointments were used and 45% left unused. Utilization rates at individual terminals varied reflecting differences in their volumes and operational models.

“Terminals continue to offer two appointment opportunities during the peak shifts and two appointment opportunities during the OffPeak shifts prior to the last free day for each container,” said John Cushing, president of PierPass, which manages the OffPeak program. “The large number of unused appointment slots shows that the system has substantial capacity to handle additional growth and offers significant flexibility in appointment times.”

The revised OffPeak program has succeeded in achieving the goals of the overhaul launched last November. These include providing a scalable technology with appointment systems and reducing afternoon truck bunching. Trucking companies had asked PierPass to address the buildup of trucks outside the terminals between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. The trucks had waited for the start of the OffPeak shift at 6:00 p.m. to avoid the Traffic Mitigation Fee (TMF) previously charged only on peak-hour cargo moves.

Under the revised OffPeak program, a lower, flat TMF is now charged on both day and night shifts, removing the incentive for trucks arriving late in the afternoon to wait until 6:00 p.m. to take their cargo. The new appointment systems mitigate traffic flow to scheduled appointment windows instead of just between the two shifts.

“The late-afternoon queuing at the terminals has been eliminated,” Mr. Cushing said.

Terminals continue to caution trucking companies against waiting until the last free day to try to pick up a load. Those doing so might not be able to get an appointment on the last free day (the last day to pick up a container without incurring demurrage charges). Terminals recommend that users select from the appointment opportunities presented as soon as they are made available.

Terminals have been conducting outreach to work with truckers on using the appointment systems effectively. This has included ongoing meetings and follow-up with trucking companies that repeatedly miss their appointments.

At the start of the program, the percentage of booked appointments when the trucker failed to show up averaged between the mid-20s and the low-30s. Ports-wide in the second quarter, the average of no-shows has dropped to 14% during the first shift and 15% during OffPeak shifts.

In 2018, it cost terminals $288 million to operate night and Saturday shifts under the OffPeak program. The program collected $216.5 million in Traffic Mitigation Fees to partially offset the added costs.

More information about the revised OffPeak program is available at https://www.pierpass.org/about/offpeak-2-0/. PierPass is the agent of the West Coast MTO Agreement (WCMTOA), a discussion agreement filed with the FMC. WCMTOA’s members are the 12 marine terminal operators at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

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TMF at Ports of LA and Long Beach to Increase 1.9% on August 1, 2019

LONG BEACH, Calif., June 28, 2019– The West Coast MTO Agreement (WCMTOA) today announced that on August 1, 2019, the Traffic Mitigation Fee (TMF) at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will increase by 1.9 percent. The adjustment matches the combined 1.9 percent increase in longshore wage and assessment rates that take effect June 29.

Beginning August 1, the TMF will be $32.12 per TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) or $64.24 per forty-foot container. The TMF is charged on non-exempt containers. Containers exempt from the TMF include empty containers; import cargo or export cargo that transits the Alameda Corridor in a container and is subject to a fee imposed by the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority; and transshipment cargo. Empty chassis and bobtail trucks are also exempt.

The OffPeak program provides regularly scheduled night or Saturday shifts to handle trucks delivering and picking up containers at the 12 container terminals in the two adjacent ports. PierPass launched the OffPeak program in 2005 to reduce severe cargo-related congestion and air pollution on local streets and highways around the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports. Nearly half of all port truck trips now take place during the off-peak shifts. The container terminal operators mitigate truck traffic at their gates with appointment systems.

The TMF helps offset the cost of operating extended gate hours. Labor costs are the largest single component of extended gate costs.

According to an analysis by maritime industry consultants SC Analytics, the net costs incurred by the terminals to operate the off-peak shifts in 2018 totaled $288 million. During that year, the terminals received $217.5 million from the TMF, offsetting about 76 percent of the OffPeak program’s costs.

About PierPass
PierPass is a not-for-profit company created by marine terminal operators at the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach to address multi-terminal issues such as congestion, air quality and security. The West Coast Marine Terminal Operator Agreement (WCMTOA) is filed with the Federal Maritime Commission, and comprises the 12 international MTOs serving the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports. For more information, please see www.pierpass.org.

FMC Clears PierPass to Start Revised OffPeak Program on Nov. 19

LONG BEACH, Calif., Nov 15, 2018—The Federal Maritime Commission has cleared PierPass to launch its revised OffPeak program of extended gate hours at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach beginning Monday, Nov. 19.

The revised OffPeak program, informally called PierPass 2.0, replaces the original OffPeak congestion-pricing model with a system using appointments to mitigate traffic. It uses a reduced Traffic Mitigation Fee (TMF) across all hours of terminal operation to help offset the cost of operating extended gates.

Cargo owners moving containers into and out of the ports by truck gate and who aren’t already registered with PierPass can do so at https://www.pierpass-tmf.org/.

As previously announced, the current TMF of $72.09 per TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) will be reduced to $31.52 per TEU or $63.04 for all other size containers. The TMF will be charged during all shifts on all days.

PierPass set up the OffPeak program in 2005 to relieve severe congestion in and around the ports. It established new night and Saturday shifts during which trucks can move cargo containers to and from the terminals. The new changes to the OffPeak program are being made in response to requests from port users, who seek increased flexibility and a reduction in the bunching up of trucks that often occurs before the start of the nighttime OffPeak shifts.

More information about the revised OffPeak program is available at https://www.pierpass.org/about/offpeak-2-0/. PierPass is the agent of the West Coast MTO Agreement (WCMTOA), a discussion agreement filed with the FMC. WCMTOA’s members are the 12 marine terminal operators at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

OffPeak 2.0 Begins Next Monday, Nov. 19

In one week, there will be significant changes to the OffPeak program.

When:  Monday, Nov. 19, 2018 subject to the conclusion of applicable Federal Maritime Commission procedures.

The Traffic Mitigation Fee (TMF) rate will be: $31.52 per 20-foot container, and $63.04 for all other sizes of containers.

The TMF will be applicable on all shifts, all days.

Registration: If not already registered in PierPass, register to pay the TMF at www.pierpass-tmf.org.

Payments: Pay the TMF at the same place payments are currently paid, at www.pierpass-tmf.org.

Exempt from the TMF will be:

  • Empty containers
  • Rail intermodal containers
  • Transshipped containers (cargo that arrives at the Port of Los Angeles or Long Beach on one vessel and leaves
    a second vessel without entering U.S. commerce)
  • Domestic cargo
  • Bare chassis

Appointments are required for all import containers.

Appointments are to be made with the terminal using their own terminal appointment system
See http://wcmtoa.org/appointment-systems/.

Common business rules:
As per WCMTOA Marine Terminal Schedule No. 1 and to include (1) two hour appointment windows and (2) the last appointment times of the day will be 3:30 p.m. on the first shift and 1:30 a.m. on the second shift.

FAQs: www.pierpass.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/QA-on-New-OffPeak-Program_10-11-18.pdf.

MTO contacts: www.wcmtoa.org/terminals/contacts/.

Revised PierPass OffPeak Start Expected Nov. 19 at Ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach

The members of the West Coast MTO Agreement (WCMTOA) today said the revised OffPeak program for providing extended gate hours at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach—informally known as PierPass 2.0—is expected to start on Nov. 19, subject to the conclusion of applicable Federal Maritime Commission procedures.

In April, PierPass announced it will overhaul the model used by its OffPeak program for truck traffic mitigation at the two adjacent ports, replacing the current congestion-pricing model with an appointment-based system that uses a single flat fee on both daytime and nighttime container moves.

For most port users, the new system won’t require new procedures, but rather an adjustment to current procedures. Most companies moving containers through the ports are already registered with PierPass to claim containers moved during Peak (weekday daytime) hours. Under the revised system, they will claim containers moved at any hour.

Because nine of the 12 terminals at the two adjacent ports already use appointment systems, most trucking firms serving the ports are already using these systems. The remaining three terminals, all operated by SSA Marine, are planning to launch their own appointment systems in advance of the implementation. As part of the program update, the terminals have also agreed on common appointment windows and common last appointment times for each shift. As the revised program moves forward, the terminals will consider further common rules and processes to enhance truck efficiency at the ports.

Cargo owners moving containers into and out of the ports by truck gate and who aren’t already registered with PierPass can do so at https://www.pierpass-tmf.org/.

As previously announced, the current Traffic Mitigation Fee of $72.09 per TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) will be replaced by a new flat fee of $31.52 per TEU; the rate for all other size containers will be a flat fee of $63.04. The TMF charged only on Peak cargo moves will be replaced by a fee that is constant across all hours of operation. Other than that change, the same types of cargo will pay the fee.

The changes to the OffPeak program are being made in response to requests from port users, who seek increased flexibility and a reduction in the bunching up of trucks that often occurs before the start of the nighttime OffPeak shifts.

A Q&A about the revised OffPeak program is available at https://www.pierpass.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/QA-on-New-OffPeak-Program_10-11-18.pdf. The West Coast MTO Agreement is a discussion agreement filed with the FMC. WCMTOA’s members are the 12 marine terminal operators at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. For more information and to track continuing developments, please go to https://www.pierpass.org/about/extended-gates-review-process/.

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Revised PierPass OffPeak System Start Expected in Fourth Quarter

LONG BEACH, Calif., June 26, 2018—The members of the West Coast MTO Agreement (WCMTOA) today said the revised OffPeak program for providing extended gate hours—informally known as PierPass 2.0—is expected to start in the fourth quarter of this year.

WCMTOA members—the 12 marine terminal operators at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach—met on June 21 to address reporting requirements for the amendment to Marine Terminal Schedule No. 1, the document on file with the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) under which WCMTOA operates.

In April, PierPass announced it will overhaul the system used by the OffPeak program for truck traffic mitigation at the two adjacent ports, replacing the current congestion pricing model with an appointment-based system that uses a single TEU-based flat fee on both daytime and nighttime container moves.

On May 24, the FMC voted to issue a Request for Additional Information about the proposed amendment. WCMTOA members are currently working to gather the requested information. Once WCMTOA submits its response, the FMC will have another 45 days to analyze the amendment. The completion of this process revises WCMTOA’s projected program launch date, originally expected in August, to the fourth quarter of 2018.

A Q&A about the revised OffPeak program is available at www.pierpass.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/QA-on-New-OffPeak-Program_4-16-18.pdf. The West Coast MTO Agreement is a discussion agreement filed with the FMC. For more information and to track continuing developments, please go to https://www.pierpass.org/about/extended-gates-review-process/.

PierPass Members Add Common Business Rules to Terminal Appointment Systems

LONG BEACH, Calif., April 30, 2018—The members of the West Coast MTO Agreement (WCMTOA)—the 12 marine terminal operators at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach—have agreed to add common business rules for the appointment systems that will become part of the OffPeak program later this year. Subject to regulatory approval, the revised OffPeak program, which is administered by PierPass, is expected to begin in August.

The terminals agreed to add the common business rules—operational procedures that all terminals will follow—in response to requests from trucking companies and other stakeholders.

The new common business rules include an appointment window—the time span between the earliest and latest times a truck can arrive for an appointment, including grace periods—of two hours for all appointments. In addition, all terminals agreed that their last appointment times of the day will be 3:30 p.m. on the first shift and 1:30 a.m. on the second shift. The new business rules will take effect when the new program begins, and are expected to increase efficiencies for users when planning appointments at more than one terminal.

PierPass also clarified that the new system, which some have referred to as “PierPass 2.0,” won’t require appointments for individual import containers being picked up from peel-off piles. Trucking companies and cargo owners will continue to arrange for a single time window to pick up entire blocks of containers going to the same company or destination from a single container terminal.

Earlier this month, PierPass announced it will overhaul the system used by the OffPeak program for truck traffic mitigation at the two adjacent ports, replacing the current congestion pricing model with an appointment-based system that uses a single TEU-based flat fee on both daytime and nighttime container moves. The change has been welcomed by port leadership and by trucking industry associations as a way to improve flexibility and reduce the bunching up of trucks in late afternoons.

PierPass is scheduling a combined meeting of the PierPass Advisory Committee and Extended Gates Subcommittee in October. This will provide an opportunity for stakeholders to provide feedback and suggestions after implementation of the new system.

A Q&A about the revised OffPeak program is available at www.pierpass.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/QA-on-New-OffPeak-Program_4-16-18.pdf. The West Coast MTO Agreement is a discussion agreement filed with the FMC. For more information and to track continuing developments, please go to www.pierpass.org.

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PierPass to Adopt Appointment System and Flat Fee for OffPeak Program

LONG BEACH, Calif., April 16, 2018—PierPass will overhaul the model used by its OffPeak program for truck traffic mitigation at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, replacing the current congestion pricing model with an appointment-based system that uses a single flat fee on both daytime and nighttime container moves.

The members of the West Coast MTO Agreement (WCMTOA)—the 12 marine terminal operators at the two adjacent ports—reached the decision after an 18-month process of consultation with industry stakeholders, and an analysis and survey by industry consultants.

Port users have expressed a desire for changes to increase flexibility and reduce the bunching up of trucks that often occurs before the start of the nighttime OffPeak shifts. Subject to regulatory approval, the revised OffPeak program is expected to begin in August.

“The industry has been demanding ‘PierPass 2.0,’ and we are responding,” said PierPass President John Cushing. “The original OffPeak program was an innovative and highly effective solution to the challenges we faced in 2005. But it was fairly inflexible, whereas an appointment-based model is scalable and can evolve to meet changing industry needs, technology and practices.”

Under the current program, OffPeak charges a Traffic Mitigation Fee (TMF) on weekday daytime cargo moves to incentivize cargo owners to use OffPeak shifts on nights and Saturdays. The revised OffPeak program will replace this two-tier fee structure with a single flat TMF during both shifts, and use appointments to spread traffic across the two shifts.

Applying the TMF to both day and night cargo will allow a reduction of more than 55 percent in the TMF while still providing funding to operate extended gates. The current TMF of $72.09 per TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) will be replaced by a new flat fee of $31.52 per TEU; the rate for all other container sizes will be a flat fee of $63.04.

“The Port of Long Beach is pleased with the progress PierPass has made in working with industry stakeholders to improve night gate operations in our terminals,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “As ships are getting bigger and volumes increase, efficient gate management is critical to our ability to move cargo in a reliable, predictable and expedient manner.”

“I’m pleased and encouraged that PierPass members are taking a significant step forward to improve efficiencies at the San Pedro Bay port complex,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “We, as well as the trucking community and all of our stakeholders, look forward to increased cargo velocity and customer responsiveness at Port facilities.”

The process of reviewing OffPeak alternatives has included a series of meetings beginning with an October 2016 workshop where WCMTOA met with more than 70 leaders representing importers, exporters, trucking companies, logistics providers, elected officials, government representatives, port authorities and other supply chain stakeholders. After a series of subsequent stakeholder meetings to delve into potential alternative models, PierPass retained industry consultants to conduct a detailed analysis. The consultants’ findings were presented and discussed at a follow-up industry workshop on March 8, 2018. WCMTOA members then worked through the remaining issues to arrive at the final plan for the revised OffPeak program.

“The California Trucking Association appreciates the proposal put forth by PierPass regarding its re-structuring of the TMF,” said Alex Cherin, Executive Director of the CTA Intermodal Conference. “This is the culmination of many collaborative discussions between the marine terminal operators and trucking communities over the last few years, and we look forward to supporting these efforts.”

“The HTA has worked hard with our marine terminal colleagues to create a more efficient and environmentally sustainable port complex,” said Weston LaBar, CEO of the Harbor Trucking Association. “This new direction for PierPass is another example of cross-industry collaboration and is a giant step in the right direction. It shows that the San Pedro Bay Port Complex will continue to be the preferred gateway for moving America’s cargo.”

A Q&A about the revised OffPeak program is available at www.pierpass.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/QA-on-New-OffPeak-Program_4-16-18.pdf. The West Coast MTO Agreement is a discussion agreement filed with the FMC. For more information and to track continuing developments, please go to www.pierpass.org.

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West Coast Cargo Stakeholders Review PierPass Extended Gate Alternatives

SAN PEDRO, Calif., March 12, 2018 – More than 60 supply chain leaders gathered on March 8 to review the findings of an analysis of options for extended gate hours at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

The Tioga Group Inc. and World Class Logistics (WCL) Consulting Inc. presented the results of their evaluation of two potential alternatives to the current model used under the OffPeak program managed by PierPass. Since 2005, the OffPeak program has mitigated traffic congestion caused by port truck operations by enabling and encouraging the pickup and delivery of containers on weeknights or Saturdays.

The two alternatives the study considered were appointments to control traffic flow, combined with a flat fee on both daytime and nighttime cargo moves; and port-wide peel-off, in which trucks would operate like taxis in an airport queue, each truck picking up the next container in the stack, providing minimal turn times.

Among the findings of the Tioga/WCL study were:

  • Appointment systems are a more effective way to manage truck flow and terminal workload
  • The current incentive fee on Peak (daytime) containers moves could be replaced with a flat fee on both days and nights to function better with appointment systems and eliminate issues related to the shift change
  • While a port-wide peel-off system received little support from truckers and cargo owners, integrating a conventional peel-off option along with an appointment system would give terminals an additional tool to reduce turn times and accelerate the velocity of freight

The March 8 Tioga/WCL presentation is available at https://www.pierpass.org/about/extended-gates-review-process/.

The members of the West Coast MTO Agreement (WMCTOA) – the 12 marine terminal operators at the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports – will now review the recommendations and feedback from the March 8 meeting participants and determine how to proceed. A decision is expected to be announced within several weeks.

WCMTOA’s agent PierPass launched the OffPeak program in 2005 to reduce severe cargo-related congestion on local streets and highways around the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports. Using a congestion pricing model, PierPass charges a Traffic Mitigation Fee (TMF) on weekday daytime cargo moves to incentivize cargo owners to use the OffPeak shifts on nights and Saturdays. Proceeds from the TMF help offset increased labor and other costs associated with operating the OffPeak shifts.

More than 40 million truck trips have been diverted out of weekday daytime traffic in the Los Angeles area since the program began, dramatically decreasing congestion on the region’s streets and highways and contributing to the clean air initiatives of the ports and the State of California.

While the OffPeak program has been very successful in meeting its goal, port users have expressed a desire for changes – which some have called “PierPass 2.0” – to increase flexibility and to address the bunching up of trucks that often occurs before the start of the OffPeak shifts.

The process of reviewing OffPeak alternatives has included a series of meetings beginning with an Oct. 2016 workshop where WCMTOA met with more than 70 leaders representing importers, exporters, trucking companies, logistics providers, elected officials, government representatives, port authorities and other supply chain stakeholders. Subsequent meetings to address the issues surrounding the alternative models were held with the 40 supply chain stakeholders who together comprise the PierPass Advisory Committee (PPAC) and the Extended Gates Subcommittee (EGS). The Tioga study was one of the outcomes of this process.

The West Coast MTO Agreement is filed with the Federal Maritime Commission. For more information and to track continuing developments, please go to www.pierpass.org.

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PierPass Retains Tioga Group to Evaluate Extended Gate Options

LONG BEACH, Calif., Nov. 6, 2017—PierPass has retained the consulting firm The Tioga Group Inc. and its partner World Class Logistics (WCL) Consulting Inc. to evaluate alternative models for providing the traffic mitigation benefits of extended gates at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which are offered through the OffPeak program.

Tioga will analyze the traffic, commercial and operational impacts of two potential alternatives to the current model used by OffPeak, which mitigates traffic congestion caused by port truck operations through encouraging the pickup and delivery of containers on weeknights or Saturdays.

Tioga, based in Philadelphia, has extensive experience analyzing operational issues for North American freight transportation, producing reports including the Cargo Handling Cooperative Program’s “Improving Marine Container Terminal Productivity,” the National Cooperative Freight Research Program’s “Truck Drayage Productivity Guide,” and numerous planning studies for individual West Coast ports. WCL has deep experience working with cargo owners, ports, railroads and other goods movement groups.

The two alternatives under consideration are appointments to control traffic flow combined with a flat fee on both daytime and nighttime cargo moves; and port-wide peel-off, in which trucks would operate like taxis in an airport queue, each truck picking up the next container in the stack. Hybrid models may also be considered.

PierPass launched the OffPeak program in 2005 to reduce severe cargo-related congestion on local streets and highways around the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports. Using a congestion pricing model, PierPass charges a Traffic Mitigation Fee (TMF) on weekday daytime cargo moves to incentivize cargo owners to use the OffPeak shifts on nights and Saturdays. The TMF also helps pay for the labor and other costs of operating the OffPeak shifts. PierPass manages the OffPeak Program as the agent of the West Coast MTO Agreement (WCMTOA), comprised of the 12 marine terminal operators (MTOs) at the two adjacent ports. More than 40 million truck trips have been diverted out of weekday daytime traffic in the Los Angeles area since the program began in 2005, dramatically decreasing congestion on the region’s streets and highways.

Hiring Tioga is an important step in the process through which the WCMTOA members are working with other industry stakeholders to review alternative methods to provide the benefits of extended gates. An alternative model must continue to spread truck traffic across the terminals’ daytime and nighttime shifts of operation, while continuing to fund the operation of extended gates.

The process has included a series of meetings that began at a workshop where WCMTOA met with more than 70 leaders representing importers, exporters, trucking companies, logistics providers, elected officials, government representatives, port authorities and other supply chain stakeholders. Subsequent meetings to address the issues surrounding the alternative models were held with the 40 supply chain stakeholders who together comprise the PierPass Advisory Committee (PPAC) and the Extended Gates Subcommittee (EGS).

Participants have highlighted a range of operational and commercial issues for consideration. In early May, participants recommended hiring a consulting firm to conduct a detailed analysis of the two remaining options. An RFP was issued to four consulting firms recommended by the working groups. Members of the PPAC and EGS participated in the scoring process to assist WCMTOA with its final selection of Tioga. Recommendations and a final report are expected during the first quarter of 2018.